edekiah's death at Babylon foretold. (1-7) The Jews reproved
for compelling their poor brethren to return to unlawful
Verses 1-7: Zedekiah is told that the city shall be taken, and that he
shall die a captive, but he shall die a natural death. It is
better to live and die penitent in a prison, than to live and
die impenitent in a palace.
Verses 8-22: A Jew should not be held in servitude above seven years.
This law they and their fathers had broken. And when there was
some hope that the siege was raised, they forced the servants
they had released into their services again. Those who think to
cheat God by dissembled repentance and partial reformation, put
the greatest cheat upon their own souls. This shows that liberty
to sin, is really only liberty to have the sorest judgments. It
is just with God to disappoint expectations of mercy, when we
disappoint the expectations of duty. And when reformation
springs only from terror, it is seldom lasting. Solemn vows thus
entered into, profane the ordinances of God; and the most
forward to bind themselves by appeals to God, are commonly most
ready to break them. Let us look to our hearts, that our
repentance may be real, and take care that the law of God
regulates our conduct.